THE LEFT'S DISHONEST WAR ON GUNS
The key to the gun banners’ success will be divide and conquer.
If they can convince hunters and householders that assault rifles and high-capacity magazines are “too much,” they will succeed.
If gun owners stand together, the Second Amendment will be preserved. If they don’t, it will be endangered. Coming months will show which it is.
In the wake of the heartbreaking mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary, Democrat politicians across the country have pushed hard to capitalize on the tragedy to advance one of their long-held political passions – banning guns. Grandstanding politician after grandstanding politician – some wiping away invisible tears – have said something must be done. Many have mentioned how uncivilized our society is.
And all have tried to draft on the liberal agenda’s impression of rising invincibility. Finally, they have said, it’s time to do something about guns.
That means get rid of them.
And all gun owners must recognize that.
All gun owners.
The Democrats in office and in the press have vilified assault rifles and high-capacity magazines – like they have vilified everything from talk radio to Mitt Romney – in an effort to stigmatize them. They have even verbally embraced hunters and target shooters, trying to drive a wedge between different parts of the gun community.
The argument is that hunters and their guns are good, but assault rifles and their owners are bad. One is normal, the other is kooky.
That’s what the Democrats are selling.
And that’s what some gun owners are buying.
And that’s too bad, because it’s a bunch of crap.
Because a gun is a gun is a gun, and anybody who thinks one kind of gun is innately more dangerous than another is someone who doesn’t know guns.
Unfortunately, that can sometimes include people who actually own guns.
Unfortunately, some gun owners fail to realize that an attack on one gun is an attack on all guns, and that efforts to ban one gun pave the way for efforts to ban every gun.
So let’s take the Democrats’ central premise, that assault rifles are “worse” or more dangerous than other firearms.
To refute that, let’s contrast the lethality of an AR-15 – America’s most-common assault rifle – with the lethality of a 12-gauge shotgun – America’s most-common hunting gun. Which one would you rather get shot by? If it helps you decide, the average person shot by an AR-15 survives, while the average person shot by a 12 gauge dies – in pieces.
Further, the common 12-gauge shotgun, firing one round of buckshot, sends more and bigger pieces of lead downrange than an entire 10-round magazine of AR-15 ammunition. And inasmuch as the most-common configuration of the 12-gauge shotgun holds six rounds, that means our friend the gentleman hunter can shoot more lead before having to reload than can someone with an assault rifle who empties two entire 30-round, high-capacity magazines.
The AR-15 shooter fires bullets .22 of an inch across. The buckshot shooter fires a bevy of bullets .33 of an inch across.
Let me repeat the question: Which one would you rather get shot by?
And how is it, exactly, that the assault rifle is the more dangerous of the two? What is the logic that insulates the shotgun and its owner from the gun-banning arguments brought against the assault rifle and its owner?
Another argument is that the assault rifle is somehow a weapon of extremists and oddballs, that the murderous psychos who shoot up innocent people are the face of the assault rifle. That doesn’t jibe with the facts. The AR-15 is not a firearm of the fringe, it is the most-commonly sold rifle in America – and has been for years on end.
Gun banners also claim that the AR-15 and other assault rifles aren’t used for hunting. That’s preposterous. Assault rifles, and other military rifles, are used for hunting all the time. The biggest thing holding the AR-15 back from being an even more popular hunting rifle is that its bullets aren’t big enough.
That’s right. Grampa’s deer rifle, the one the gun banners pretend to accept, is a ballsier gun than most assault rifles. It fires bigger, badder bullets that do a lot more damage to whatever they hit.
Gun banners say that the danger of the assault rifles is that they are semi-automatic. That they fire each time the trigger is pulled. In calling for a ban on such guns, they pretend not to know that semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns have been used by the millions for more than a century.
Gun banners also point to box magazines, saying that the ability to quickly reload is too uniquely dangerous. That’s nuts. Both hunting rifles and shotguns come with box magazines, and have for generations. There is nothing out of the ordinary about an assault rifle’s magazine.
Gun banners point to high-capacity magazines, ones that can hold a lot of bullets, and say that they are unjustifiably dangerous. Anyone who says that has never changed the magazine on an assault rifle in a live-fire situation. Magazines can be changed so rapidly on most modern firearms that it doesn’t really matter, from a time standpoint, whether you use one 30-round magazine or three 10-round magazines. The high-capacity magazine is easier to carry, but not necessarily faster to shoot.
Gun banners in recent days have tried to divide and confuse gun owners by saying that civilians just shouldn’t have weapons designed for the military.
At a certain level, that’s an appealing argument. But accepting it requires you to know nothing about firearms and our history.
The cowboy gun, for example, the hog-leg single-action revolver, was designed as a military gun. The same for the lever-action rifles that today hunt deer over most of America. Some of the best bolt-action hunting rifles in use today are retooled from infantry rifles of the First World War. And for some 65 years the U.S. government itself has sold the combat rifles of the Second World War directly to civilians.
The AR-15 has merely done what every infantry rifle in American history has done before it – crossed over into popular use and civilian ownership.
Finally, gun banners say that some guns are designed just to kill, and that they should not be allowed.
Well, actually, most guns are designed just to kill. The same is true for many types of legal and appropriate ammunition.
Handguns, as a class, are almost all designed to shoot people. Many of Grandpa’s favorite hunting rifles and shotguns were originally designed to shoot people.
Guns, after all, are often designed and used for self-defense. That may be an unpleasant reality, but it’s somewhat comforting when somebody’s coming through your window in the dark of the night.
Assault rifles and high-capacity magazines are no different than any other gun. The gun banners won’t tell you that, because the gun banners want to get rid of all guns.
They can’t do that now.
But they can begin.
And they’ve decided to begin with assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. They hope they can trick some gun owners into helping them.
They hope they can confuse some gun owners about what they’re after and what is at stake.
Maybe they will be successful.
But this much is certain, and every gun owner needs to recognize it: After they take your neighbor’s gun, they will come for yours.
After they vilify his gun, they will vilify yours.
And in time you all will be disarmed together.
And that won’t just take away your hunting, it will take away your freedom.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012